Victim's Right to Review
The Victims' Right to Review Scheme makes it easier for victims to seek a review of a CPS decision not to bring charges or to terminate all proceedings.
Decisions made prior to 1 April 2015 do not qualify for the scheme.
In order to qualify for the scheme the case must be one in which:
- You have been the victim of crime.
- A suspect has been identified and interviewed, either following an arrest or by voluntary arrangement. An ‘interview’ in this context is intended to cover situations where a suspect has an allegation put to them and they are interviewed under caution.
Your right to request a review arises where the police
- Make a decision not to bring proceedings in cases where the police have authority to charge; or
- Make a decision that the case does not meet the test for referral to the CPS for a charging decision and you are the victim of that crime.
A victim, as defined by The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime 2013
- A person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by criminal conduct
You can also apply for a review if you are:
- Close relatives of a person whose death was directly caused by criminal conduct
- Parents or guardian where the main victim is under 18
- Police officers who are victims of crime
- Family spokespersons of victims with a disability or someone so badly injured that they cannot communicate
How to exercise the right under the scheme
- Victims will be notified by police of the decision not to bring proceedings.
- If the victim wishes to exercise their right to review they should contact the Victims Right to Review Officer as detailed below. The request for review can be made up to three months following the decision to take no further action being made.
- An acknowledgement will be sent to the requestor within ten days of receipt of the request.
- The reviewing officer will approach the case afresh to determine whether the original decision was right or wrong.
- In cases where the decision to take no further action was correct, the victim will be informed .
- If the decision to take no further action was wrong, then police can overturn the decision and bring about proceedings if this is within their statutory powers. If the offence is one which the Crown Prosecution Service must make the decision to charge on, then police will provide them with the evidence upon which to make a decision.
- If the victim remains dissatisfied with the decision following the conclusion of the VRR process and wishes to challenge it further, then they can apply to the High Court for judicial review.
The VRR officer can be contacted at Athena House, Kettlestring Lane, Clifton Moor, York, YO30 4XF, by email at email@example.com or by phone – dial 101, select option 2 and ask for Victims Right to Review Officer.
If the victim has concerns regarding the conduct of an officer they can contact the Professional Standards Department, Newby Wiske Hall, Northallerton DL7 9HA or attend their local police station.